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Psicologia: Reflexão e Crítica

On-line version ISSN 1678-7153

Abstract

NUNES, Deise Cardoso; CARRARO, Luciane; JOU, Graciela Inchausti de  and  SPERB, Tânia Mara. The concept of death in children . Psicol. Reflex. Crit. [online]. 1998, vol.11, n.3, pp. 579-590. ISSN 1678-7153.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-79721998000300015.

Children’s concept of death has been related to cognitive development in the majority of studies dealing with this subject. However, children’s individual experiences (Fávero e Salim, 1995) as well as culture which formalizes events of each particular society (Bruner, 1990), among others the event of death, have been increasingly considered as important elements in the elaboration of children’s concept of death. Aiming at observing whether these influences are present in the elaboration of the mental representation of death, six preschoolers were examined using semi-structured interviews and drawings, following Fávero and Salim’s (1995) proposal of using drawings to represent mental contents. Children were asked to draw what they thought about death. Results showed that both the children’s experience and their formal representations given by culture are present in their elaboration of the concept of death.

Keywords : preschoolers; death; cognitive development; culture.

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